Thanks to Taylor Rummel for edits on this article.
When you think of David Beckham, words rapidly spin around in your brain, knocking off the dust of everyday work life that bores us all.
Glamour. Allure, Razzle-dazzle. Magnificence. Appeal. Glory.
What would it be like to live the life of David Beckham, a world-wide phenom that practically represents the term "soccer superstar"?
His legacy grips us all, bewildering us to the point where we can only watch him with an expression similar to rapture and disbelief.
He is a God on the field, not quite like the monsters such as Pele or Maradona, but a behemoth in both sport and endorsement.
Early Years and Beginning
Beckham was born on May 2, 1975. A gift given to David Edward Alan Beckham and Sandra Georgina Beckham. He grew up with soccer, or in his home country, "football," as his parents were major supporters of Manchester United.
David, of course, followed his parents' passion for the team and football, knowing from the start that his dream was to become a professional player. He recalls that his teachers would often inquire what his goal in life was, or what he hoped his future occupation would be.
Naturally, he replied "I want to be a footballer." Feeling it was a joke, they asked again, querying "No, what do you really want to do, for a job?" as if being an athlete to pay the bills was a preposterous belief.
His answer the second time was identical to the first answer, because, as he remembers, that was the only thing he ever wanted to do.
As a kid, he played for a local team, the Ridgeway Rovers, one of the three coaches being his father. Later in 1990, after a two-year stint playing for the Brimsdown Rovers, he was awarded the Under-15 Player of the Year.
In the year after in 1991, he signed a Young Training Scheme (YTS) contract with Manchester United, which led him to move up to Manchester to continue his academic education—while also beginning his footballing education with the club's expert youth coaches.
Beckham perhaps fulfilled his biggest ambition in becoming a member of the Manchester United football squad in 1992, as a pupil and amateur of the game. While he was still learning, he continued to thrive despite little experience as the team won the FA (Football Association) Youth Cup in 1992.
Years later in 1995, Beckham finally crawled to the top of the organization, making his Premier League debut, the sole powerhouse professional league around in England.
He played midfielder for the formidable and controversial MU gang, which was a big fat target for criticizers and fans to shout "down with youth" from the top of a mountain. A mountain which would soon be summited by the young, persevering team.
After falling 3-1 to Aston Villa to further elevate the critics' intolerance of the team, the club went on a streak which was supported by drive and fresh, raw talent. They won their following five matches, going on to finish the year with both the Premier League championship and the FA Cup, which is commonly known as winning "The Double."
Beckham cemented himself as a household name after scoring on an amazing kick in the 1996-97 season, which was shot from the halfway line.
Keep in mind that a football field is in the neighborhood of 100 (minimum length) and 110 metres (maximum length), meaning that Beckham shot the ball from a range that stretched 50-60 metres.
The relationship between Beckham and team manager Alex Ferguson, who backed him up when Beckham was face-to-face with the vitriol and wrath of impatient fans the previous season, was sliding down a dangerous hill during the early years of 2000.
This had something to do with his personal life, which began to involve photo shoots and plans for his latest football boot design and started to drift from soccer all day every day to a business. One that he loved yes, but one that he had to treat professionally and couldn't let bias nor passion interfere with money.
Beckham, during the 2002 season, suffered an injury during a game against Argentina. There's been accusations fired toward Aldo Duscher, the player who brought down Beckham, that allude to the possibility of the injury being set up on purpose, as Argentina was scheduled to play England in the World Cup that year.
While United did not reach the Premier League title that year (a championship they won the year earlier), Beckham agreed to sign a three-year deal with the team in May of 2002.
Like many renowned athletes, the quote "all good things must come to an end" is rarely not used. Also like other distinguished athletes, that end was not pretty.
In the 2002-03 season, Beckham was out with injury and, upon returning, was unable to earn his place back to his position. And, unfortunately for both MU and Beckham, the fury and disgust Ferguson and Beckham had for each other risen to such a level to the point where the couldn't stand each other.
Witnesses claim that Ferguson threw (or kicked—that part of the incident is not certain) a boot at Beckham, and struck him directly above the eye. The cut required multiple stitches.
While United desired to ship Beckham out to FC Barcelona, he changed their plans by signing a contract with Real Madrid, another soccer titan.
Beckham immediately became the heartthrob of the city, starting off on fire, scoring five times in his first 16 games with the team.
In 2007, Madrid won the Spanish La Liga title, the first championship for the team in three years.
Once again, the downfall of Beckham's Madrid career happened at the end, and this time, its ugliness was also evident and conspicuous.
Beckham's game had hit a bump in the road, and Madrid's manager decided to start the supposedly more agile Jose Antonio Reyes on the right wing, Beckham's usual spot. In the first nine matches Beckham started, Madrid lost seven.
Los Angeles Galaxy
Beckham would soon after release the news of his finalized five-year deal in which he would travel overseas to play football (now probably known as soccer to him) with the Los Angeles Galaxy. The deal was announced Jan. 11, 2007, and he was scheduled to officially become a member on the team July 1.
In a game against D.C. United, Beckham got over the anticipation of the many "firsts" that come with arriving at a new city; his first game as team captain, his first yellow card, his first start, and his first goal.
So far in his time with the LA Galaxy, things have not exactly gone swimmingly.
The Galaxy have been ousted from the playoffs, even failed to make them, Beckham has fought with injuries, and the fans haven't been pleased with his performance. He's even got into a heated rivalry with his own teammate, Landon Donovan.
However, Beckham claims he's been dedicated to the team and the fans. Here's what Beckham had to say about facing pressure from the organization and fans, as he has clearly fallen short of the originally high expectations: "...What you've seen is that I've been very dedicated to the Galaxy, dedicated to the fans."
When asked about the comments Landon Donovan made about Beckham, claiming he was not giving the Galaxy 100 percent after he decided to stay in Milan further than his loan allowed him too, Beckham had this to say:
"I was given the to chance to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world. If you ask any player in any league in the world, if they were given the chance to finish the season with one of the biggest clubs in the world, they would have said 'Yes.'"
In conclusion, Beckham's soccer career, overall, has been a success.
He's played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, the Los Angeles Galaxy, and even internationally for England. Former manager and perhaps even enemy at times Alex Ferguson once had chosen these words to express Beckham's remarkable work ethic and 110 percent effort: "He practiced with a discipline to achieve an accuracy that other players wouldn't care about."
The two-time runner-up for FIFA Player of the Year, and the highest-paid soccer star in the world, David Beckham has captured the world's audience that is comprised not only of soccer/football fans, but fans of sport itself.
The man in the spotlight
While Beckham has grasped the attention of those following sports, he also has managed to get his name in the paper (or face on television) for other achievements.
He's inspired illustrious films such as Bend It Like Beckham and The Goal! series. He's written three books about his astonishing life, those being David Beckham: My Side, Beckham: My World, and Beckham: Both Feet on the Ground.
Beckham's various outstanding feats and skills bring such diversity to sports. He's shown that one single "sonic boom" that whistles past the goalie and rips through the net can transform in an instant into book and novel ideas, or even inspiration for a peer to make a movie.
He admired Michael Jordan, donning the No. 23 jersey twice in his honor.
Beckham had an astounding amount of followers; he was liable for an eye-popping $600 million in merchandise sales in his four years with Real Madrid.
David Beckham was the living, breathing example of how a person can transcend the limits of two passions.
Because whether it was the scream of "GOOOOALLLL!!" from an emphatic announcer, or the shriek of "I LOVE YOU DAVID!!!" from an adoring fan, Beckham always knew he was on top.